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Lost and Found: American Treasures from the New Zealand Film Archive

directed by John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Mabel Normand etc.
USA 1914 - 1927

This 3-1/4 hour DVD celebrates the largest international collaboration in decades to preserve and present American films found abroad. It draws from an extraordinary cache of nitrate prints that had been safeguarded in New Zealand and virtually unseen in decades. Through a partnership between the New Zealand Film Archive and American film archives, the NFPF arranged for 176 films to be shipped to the United States for preservation to 35mm film. Treasures New Zealand brings some of these major discoveries to DVD. None of the films have been presented before on video; in fact, none were even thought to exist just four years ago.

Treasures New Zealand not only resurrects lost works by major directors—John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, and Mabel Normand—but also samples the variety of American pictures exported abroad and saved through this project. Industrial films, news stories, cartoons, travelogues, serial episodes, previews, comedies—Treasures New Zealand samples them all. The line-up features:

  • John Ford’s Upstream (1927) and a preview for his lost Strong Boy (1929)
  • The White Shadow (1924), 3 reels from the first surviving feature credited to Alfred Hitchcock, the assistant director, art director, writer, and editor
  • Won in a Cupboard (1914), the first surviving film directed by and starring Mabel Normand
  • Lyman H. Howe’s Famous Ride on a Runaway Train (1921), reunited with its sound-effects disc for the first time in decades
  • Stetson’s Birth of a Hat (ca. 1920)
  • The Love Charm (1928), a South Seas romance filmed in two-color Technicolor by Ray Rennahan
  • Andy's Stump Speech (1924), directed by Norman Taurog, following funny-paper favorite Andy Gump on the campaign trail
  • The cartoon Happy-Go-Luckies (1923), 5 newsreel stories, and an episode from Dolly of the Dailies (1914) in which the unstoppable newspaperwoman saves the day and gets the scoop

That films lost in the United States came to be found 7,000 miles away speaks volumes about the international popularity of American movies from the very start. By 1926, America made 90% of all commercial pictures screened around the world. When distributors sent prints abroad, they expected that theatrical prints would be shipped back or destroyed at the end of their run. In New Zealand, a last stop on the exhibition circuit, some prints fell into the hands of eager collectors and ended up at the NZFA. Today hundreds of American movies from the silent era that were not saved in the U.S. survive abroad.

The Treasures New Zealand films can be shared today thanks to the stewardship of the New Zealanders, the preservation work directed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, the Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, and UCLA Film & Television Archive, and the contributions of hundreds of donors. The National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Argyros Family Foundation underwrote the production. Net proceeds will support further film preservation.

So let’s savor the discoveries, giving a round of applause to the New Zealand Film Archive for sharing its treasures and the American archives for preserving them, and hope that this exciting collaboration spearheaded by the NFPF blazes the trail for many more to come.

DVD Reviews

  out of

DVD Review: Image Entertainment -  Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Image Entertainment -  Region 0 - NTSC
Audio Silent (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Time 3:16:24
Intertitles English
Features Release Information:
DVD Production: Image Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen (Standard) - 1.33:1

Edition Details:

  • 56-page booklet, with forewords by Leonard Maltin
  • New music by Michael D. Mortilla and Donald Sosin
  • More than 180 interactive screens
  • Digitally mastered from unique source materials
  • Playable worldwide (Intertitles in English)

DVD Release Date: September 24th, 2013
Transparent Keep Cases and one book

The 'Treasures Collections' - #1 - 50 films preserved by America's premier archives, #2 - More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894-1931, Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film 1900-1934, Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986 and Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938.


It has been a while but we get another new 'Treasures..." package and it is always a pleasure to venture into these fantastically old film archives. There is something thrilling to be privy to own such a collection of the primordial soup of the medium of film.... for, previously, lost works. We get a dozen films totaling over 3 1/4 hours.

The 50-page book (fitting in the transparent keep case) is the 'programme notes' for the films that are being shown. Here are contained all the details you might want to be aware of before, or after, indulging in one of the films. Much can also be accessed via text screen from each menu.

The image often looks quite impressive with only severe damage being hardly ever seen except on some of the title cards on "White Shadow". The aspect ratio is consistent at 1.33:1.

Menu navigation is easy allowing you to access the next of previous film or any chapter menus or ex. a brief piece on Donald Sosin's music of the 1927 "Upstream".

All the films are presented with two-track audio. The sound is acceptable and even quite refreshing on the newly recorded effort. There are no subtitles but all inter-titles are in English. 

For historical film-students keen on these packages-this is pure fun - educational and a window into the past. This is the history and evolution of film right at our fingertips. Recommendedout of  

Gary W. Tooze


Associated Reading  (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)


DVD Menu Sample


Sample Titles



Sample Screen Captures



























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Distribution Image Entertainment -  Region 0 - NTSC



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Gary Tooze

Many Thanks...